15 December 2016

Remembering Mrs. Wozniak

Call it an early airing of grievances.

Many of my current bad habits, I owe to my absolutely horrid 5th grade teacher at Kramer Elementary School in Oxford, Ohio, Mrs. Wozniak.

She was the one whose endless rote sentence combining exercises developed my life long habit of writing run on sentences.

She was the one whose insistence on trying to fit answers in workbook spaces did irreparable harm to my handwriting and caused my stutter that lasted until I learned to type everything to get much worse.

She was the one who taught prescriptivist grammar rules that stunted the quality of my writing style until I took legal writing classes to overcome them long after I graduated from law school.

She was the one whose demeaning treatment of students in the classroom forever branded me as a geek and nerd with negative social consequences until I got went abroad six years later. Partially because of the social forces she set in place, I ended up spending most of recess in the sixth grade in the classroom reading the dictionary instead of socializing with other kids.

No other teacher I had from kindergarten to law school was so small minded, ignorant, and soul killing.

She dented my curiosity and joy of learning in a way that it took until roughly 10th grade to get back.

She really was a horrible teacher and a horrible human being whose teaching made me and my classmates worse people then we were when we entered her classroom.

Realistically, she's probably dead now, and after thirty-five years or so, what's happened has happened. 

But, if she is out there, Mrs. Wozniak really ought to realize how much harm she did to her students during her far too long days as a teacher and feel absolute guilt and despair at negative value that her existence imposed on her community in Oxford, Ohio. We recognize people who make outstanding contributions to their community, but in truth, there are people like her who single handedly drag the community down and make it worse place for everyone. I'm sure that she was just as much of a blight in other aspects of her life in the community and to her family.

No comments: